Weekend Advisory

So you wanna watch something...

Lihaaf: Based on the life of Urdu writer, novelist and feminist Ismat Chughtai, ‘Lihaaf’ is also the title of her most controversial short story—which centred around the same-sex relationship between a begum and her masseuse. The film weaves in elements of her fiction with the obscenity trial that Chughtai faced because of this story. It premiered at the Montgomery International Film Festival in 2019, and received a ‘Special Honor Award’. Streaming on Voot tomorrow.


In the Heights: This summer-ish musical drama is based on Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway play by the same name. Set in a New York neighbourhood, it tells the story of young Latinx people reckoning with their cultural identity even as that very identity is threatened with gentrification. The Guardian writes that the film “delivers a blast of sunshine, hope and hotpants. But unpeel the song-and-dance romance and escapism and there’s a socially engaged, issue-led drama under the sparkle and pizzazz.” Streaming on Apple TV.


The Last Mercenary: Rejoice lovers of unashamed action flicks and the hunks who make them happen. Jean-Claude Van Damme i.e. the ‘Muscles from Brussels’ plays a former French Secret Service agent turned mercenary called 'La Brume' ('The Mist')—who returns to the scene after 25 years to protect his son from the mob. The director David Charhon said of his project: “I want to return to the great tradition of action films of the ’80s and ’90s—those cult films we all love where the heroes were out of the ordinary, the stunts were all more impressive and truer than life, and all punctuated with humour. Only Jean-Claude could embody this unparalleled golden age of cinema.” That’s pretty much all you need to know about what to expect. Releasing today on Netflix.


A list of good reads

  • Right in time for the Olympics, Smithsonian Magazine offers a 2,000-year-old history of the sport of gymnastics, all the way back from ancient Greece!
  • For art history lovers, ​​Aeon has a wonderful video on Katsushika Hokusai’s ‘Great Wave’—and why it became such a huge success.
  • Scheduling sex sounds very unsexy, but Anne Putnam in Buzzfeed News explains why it is a great idea.
  • How creative are you? Fast Company has a 4-minute test that answers the question.
  • Wired reports on why the now open-to-everyone Clubhouse is struggling for downloads.
  • The French government gave teenagers $350 to spend on “high art,” but they bought manga comics instead! New York Times has more on why kids will be kids.
  • ​​NPR has an excellent take on how medal data from the summer Olympics explains everything from the state of the world economy to reasons for the world wars!
  • Looking for a fun mom memoir? Open Magazine has an excellent round up of Indian non-fic that is low on guilt and big on laughs.
  • The founder of the cryptocurrency Ethereum donated $1 billion to help battle Covid in India. Gizmodo looks at why most of that money remains unspent.
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